Starting Sunday 8th May on RTÉ 1 at 6.30pm, 'Wild Cities' is a fascinating new four-part series set on the streets of Galway, Dublin, Cork and Belfast, revealing each city’s wildest, yet most secretive, residents – the animals that live there.
Episode 1: GALWAY Sunday May 8th 6.30pm
Galway native and bird expert, John Lusby, is our guide to the wildlife of Galway City, from adorable cygnets taking to the water for the first time to stunning slow motion footage of the Lesser horseshoe bats of Menlough Castle, Otters in the city’s canals, and sleeping Barn Owl chicks.
Episode 2: DUBLIN Sunday May 15th 6.30pm
Zoologist Rob Gandola brings us on a journey of discovery through a Dublin rarely seen, to witness the Fallow deer rut in Phoenix Park; Irish mountain hares thriving in a Dublin Airport car park; frogs and foxes in back gardens across the city; and Herring Gulls raising their chicks on the rooftop of Easons on O’ Connell St.
Episode 3: CORK Sunday May 22nd 6.30pm
Environmental scientist Tara Shine visits a winter roost of Pied Wagtails on Grand Parade; looks for wildlife among the dead in a city cemetery; and we find Grey Herons begging for scraps outside the English Market and exotic terrapins turning up in Cork’s wild waterways.
Episode 4: BELFAST Sunday May 29th 6.30pm
Biologist Simon Watt takes a boat journey around Belfast Harbour to see basking seals; enjoys Painted Lady Butterflies on a Belfast waste ground and a stunning Kingfisher fishing at the back of an industrial estate. Simon also gets to experience one of nature’s most spectacular sights right in the heart of the city as some 50,000 Starlings perform aerial acrobatics in a winter murmuration.
GALWAY: JOHN LUSBY
A Galway native, from an early age John had a passion for the natural world which led him to study Zoology at NUI, Galway. He has always had a particular interest in birds of prey and in his current role as Raptor Conservation Officer with BirdWatch Ireland has developed a range of research and policy initiatives to promote their conservation. John is a regular contributor to press, radio, and TV including ‘Mooney Goes Wild’ and ‘Living the Wildlife’. Recently he has worked in environmental education and presented the RTÉJr wildlife series ‘Shutterbugs’.
DUBLIN: ROB GONDOLA
Rob Gandola is a PhD student at the University of Southampton. He works on the ecology and conservation of the Nile crocodile in Madagascar, working in conjunction with Operation Wallacea as their Senior Herpetologist. Rob is from north Dublin city, and completed his degree in Zoology in UCD in 2004. Rob has contributed to many natural history programmes, including ‘Living the Wildlife’ and ‘Nature on One’ & ‘Mooney Goes Wild’ for RTE Radio 1. Rob is also Senior Scientific Officer for the Herpetological Society of Ireland.
CORK: TARA SHINE
Dr. Tara Shine is an environmental scientist with 20 years’ experience working in the fields of climate change, environment and development. Tara is Special Adviser to the Mary Robinson Foundation–Climate Justice, and also advises governments, multilateral agencies and civil society organisations. Tara holds a BSc in Environmental Science and a PhD in Geography from the University of Ulster. She has contributed to research, policy and teaching in Africa, Asia and Europe.
BELFAST: SIMON WATT
Simon Watt is a Biologist, Science Communicator, Writer, Comedian and TV Presenter. He runs the ‘Ugly Animal Preservation Society’ and wrote the book book ‘The Ugly Animals: We can’t all be Pandas’. He is a regular contributor to newspapers, journals, TV, radio and web, and is perhaps best known as a presenter on the BAFTA winning series Inside Nature’s Giants and Channel 4 special The Elephant: Life After Death.